Architect's Essentials of Marketing, by David Koren. New York: John Wiley, 2004, 288 pages, $34.53.
Communication by Design: Marketing Professional Services, by Joan Capelin. Atlanta: Greenway Communications, 180 pages, $34.95
Is It All About Image?: How PR Works in Architecture
tutorial for setting up a firm's marketing strategy. His straightforward book demystifies the profession's lingo and walks the reader through the major tasks of developing a marketing strategy: creating a mission statement, vision statement, and action plan; defining the firm's identity and position in the market; and allotting and managing a marketing budget.
Koren stresses the importance of gaining clients' trust and notes that their choice of architect often depends on intangible qualities such
(Architecture in Practice), by
Laura Iloniemi. New York: Wiley-Academy, 2004, 224 pages, $55.
Architects can't be players in today's competitive climate unless they can market their services successfully. These three books define terms and suggest efficient applications of marketing methods.
In Architect's Essentials of Marketing, David Koren, the marketing director for Gensler in New York, provides a quick, comprehensive as individual chemistry, personality, and passion. He emphasizes the need for architects to be proactive and know their clients' needs. The key, he says, is to make marketing a regular part of the firm's work, continuously evaluating what strategies work for getting new business and publicity, and which methods need tweaking. Boldly labeled sections make the book easy to navigate; charts, graphs, and a bibliography and index add helpful information.
Joan Capelin's useful book
Communication by Design is a quick read offering kernels of wisdom in conversational prose. Capelin, a long-time public-relations executive, organizes her book into 29 short, catchy principles, peppering her narrative with anecdotes and quotes from architects. The tone of her book resembles that of a wise aunt freely sharing her advice: Be proactive and maintain good communications among all those involved in a project; anticipate possible glitches and ask questions ahead of time; be straight_ forward about mistakes and correct them; always follow up; and celebrate small achievements. Capelin offers exercises for implementing her principles, and also provides tips for fine-tuning presentation skills. This small, easy-to-carry book makes a good motivational read on the way to a confer-| ence or meeting.
Is it all about image? That's the question Laura Iloniemi asks at the start of her richly illustrated book of that title. Unfortunately, she never answers it, instead asking the reader to wade through a dense thicket of information while offering little advice and few opinions (perhaps her training in architectural philosophy compels her to let evidence speak for itself).
Her initial question is followed by a series of firm profiles, project case studies, interviews with architectural writers, notes on architectural photography and presentation, and a few lists—none of which directly address marketing per se. There is, furthermore, no connecting thread between case studies and the book's collages of bright images, some of which are not mentioned in the text. Only in the 20-page section on architectural photography do the images clearly illustrate the narrative. After a weak conclusion, the author finally offers a few useful guidelines for hiring communications specialists, followed by some general tips, a bibliography of resources, and a directory of photo agencies. Larissa Babij
New Museums: Contemporary Museum Architecture Around the World, by Mimi Zeiger. New York: Universe Publishing, 2005, 208 pages, $29.95.
No building type is so invested with potential as today's museums, expected to function as memorials, menders of urban decay, creators of new civic images, and even sociopolitical statements (witness the French government's recent decision to enlarge the Louvre's Islamic department). Mimi Zeiger's compendium of recent projects goes beyond previous publications in its range of museum types and its geographical scope, with nearly global coverage comprising examples from the U.S., Europe, China, and Japan. Included are museums of art, science, natural history, papermaking, stonework, volcanoes, and archaeological sites.
The book loosely divides museums into three categories. The first, oc <
"Civic Pavilion," includes institutions like the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis by Allied Works Architecture, which enlivens its urban context. The second, "Regional Response," refers to museums such as Takaharu + Yui Tezuka Architects' Echigo-Matsunoyama Museum of Natural Science in Matsunoyama, Japan, which relates to a pastoral setting.
Zeiger presents Dia:Beacon, renovated by artist Robert Irwin in collaboration with Open Office, as an example of a third type, "Objet d'Art," museums that create a spatial synthesis between art and architecture.
A single page of text, written in an informal, no-nonsense style, accompanies several pages of photographs for each museum. These thumbnail sketches are reliably accurate and at times even evocative. Zeiger provides the cultural context for each project, such as the regionalism of Chinese architect Jiakun Liu measured against a backdrop of highprofile international practitioners.
Missing in most cases, however, are comparable relationships between the featured museum and other work by the same architect. More important is the absence of plan drawings. And while exteriors are beautifully illustrated, interiors are often short-changed, with views
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The extraordinary proliferation of museums in the last several years makes it hard to keep abreast of the topic. Already Zeiger's book seems slightly out-of-date: By now, Steven Holl's Bellevue Arts Museum has been renovated by a different architect in accordance with a new mission. Also, one wonders why SANAA's recently completed 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan (2004), was not included in addition to the firm's O-Museum in Nagano (1999).
New Museums does not attempt meaningful architectural analyses. Rather, like Museum Builders (1994), edited by James Steele, and others in a similar vein, the emphasis is on illustrations. Its smaller format, however, makes this book the most practical. Victoria Newhouse by Robert Elwall. London: Merrell, 2004, 240 pages. $59.95.
In his book chronicling the history of architectural photography, Robert Elwall features one of the most influential pictures ever taken of any building—a black-and-white photo of Mies's Seagram Building, taken by Ezra Stoller in 1958. This portrait remains our primary image of that classic statement of steel-and-glass construction. It was taken from a vantage point unavailable to the general public, and has about as much poetry as a mug shot.
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